7 Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid + Alternatives in 2023

Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese remedy that has long been utilized in dietary supplements.

If you seek to lower your blood cholesterol level with red yeast rice supplements, you should know that it would be nothing but a crapshoot. 

Red yeast rice includes Monacolin K, a chemical that decreases low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels and is similar to the prescription drug lovastatin.

However, here is the catch. Only half of the supplements you see in the market have Monacolin K, while the other half don’t. 

So by opting for these supplements, you would not only be wasting your money, but they will also delay it for you to get any treatment for your high cholesterol.

The odds are that you might come across only a few brands that have a fair amount of Monacolin K in their supplements.  

The Swanson, Only Natural, Sundance, Nature’s Plus, Mason Natural, and Solaray are the Red Yeast Rice brands to avoid.

So to keep you on the safe side, we will tell you about the reasons why they are the worst.

Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid


Keep reading because you will also find a few highly-recommended red yeast rice brands. 

So now, without further ado, let’s dive right into it. 

What are the Dangers of Using These Supplements?

Red yeast rice supplements are usually taken orally as a dietary supplement to improve overall health.

They are rich in B-complex vitamins and are often used to help with weight loss, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

They are also known to help with sleep, anxiety, and stress.

However, red yeast rice supplements can be dangerous if you’re pregnant, or have any underlying medical condition.

In such cases, it is recommended to consult with your doctor before taking them.

Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid

1. Spring Valley

A single pack of Spring Valley red yeast rice supplements contains 120 capsules, each with 600-milligram of Monacolin K, at least that is what the label says.

However, there is no clear indication that this product includes Monacolin K.

Spring Valley supplements don’t help in lowering the cholesterol level.

Instead, it has been noticed that many consumers have complained about stomach aches, lightheadedness, pain in bones and joints, and headaches after the consumption of Spring Valley red rice supplements.

Moreover, these supplements also cause vision issues and a lack of energy in some consumers.

The biggest reason to include this brand in our list was that although it claimed to be using Monacoin in its products, in reality, you are not sure whether they have it or not.

So if they had been clear about the chemicals they use in their products, it would be a lot more convenient for people. 

2. Swanson

Swanson red yeast rice supports cardiovascular health, and healthy lipid levels in the blood, and helps in bringing the blood cholesterol level to the normal range.

You might be wondering what has made us include this brand of red yeast rice brands to avoid. Well, you will get your answers here.

Swanson claims that their red yeast rice supplements have Monacolin K. However, they actually have lovastatin, and the warning came from the FDA itself.

As someone prescribed drugs to control their cholesterol levels, you might be pretty familiar with lovastatin.

This chemical can lead to kidney failure and muscle tissue breakdown.

Moreover, if taken with other antibiotics, antidepressants, other cholesterol medications, and medication for fungal and HI infections, it can cause severe health problems.

So if you are taking any of the medicine mentioned above, you should avoid these red yeast rice supplements. 

3. Only Natural

The manufacturers claim that these cholesterol-lowering supplements are natural ingredients and red yeast.

However, if you look at the label to check the ingredients, you will not get a clear insight.

As a well-known brand, if they are claiming something, they should at least show some proof for the consumers to rest assured.  

Moreover, they also haven’t mentioned the exact amount of Monacolin K used in their supplements.

As far as we have seen, these supplements don’t help lower or control cholesterol. So, this indicates that they might not even have Monacolin K at all. 

The most prominent reason to not suggest using Only Natural red rice supplements is the rash developments and skin allergic reactions that many consumers have complained about. 

4. Sundance

Like Only Natural, Sundance also doesn’t give a clear insight into its red rice supplements.

It claims that there is the use of cholesterol-lowering natural herbs in its products; however, which herbs, to be exact, we don’t know. 

Knowing about the exact herns is very important because you never know they might contain a herb/herbs you are allergic to.

Also, there is no proof that these have any effect on lowering high cholesterol levels.

Moreover, there is an indication of Monacolin K in Sundance red rice supplements. As it says on the label, “each capsule contains 600 mg of red yeast rice.”

5. Nature’s Plus 

According to the Food Development Authority, this brand has “improper ingredient transparency.”

It means just like the brand above; it also doesn’t give an insight into the ingredients used in their capsules. 

There is 600 mg of red rice in each supplement, but we are not sure whether it has Monacolin K or not.

However, if you think that is the only reason to include this in our list. There is much more to it. 

Nature’s Plus red rice supplements have terrible consumer reviews. As per people, the capsules are huge and you can’t swallow them without feeling pain in the throat and discomfort.

In addition, a few consumers have complained of nausea and discomfort after consuming these capsules. 

6. Mason Natural

As per the label, these red yeast rice capsules contain Silicon Dioxide, Magnesium Stearate, and Gelatin (bovine).

It means there is not much proof that these have Monacolin K to control cholesterol. 

In reality, they do the opposite, well, at least we have found consumers saying.

After consuming Mason Naturals red yeast rice capsules, people claimed that their cholesterol had gotten worse.

Moreover, these supplements are huge so people find them hard to swallow. 

The brand also claims to have natural herbs in its capsules, but there is no information on herbs.

So, if you don’t want to end up with allergies or rashes, then avoid taking these.

However, if you are still confused, you can look at the consumer reviews. But still, it would be risky, and it is up to you whether you want to take a risk or not. 

7. Solaray 

“Non-irradiated and Citrinin-free” is how Solaray represents these red yeast rice capsules that are tested and verified in the lab and are free of any impurities, contaminants, and radiation.

They are free of pesticides, bacteria, heavy metals, and major allergens.

Moreover, these capsules are also tested for potency, identity, and purity in the Naturaceutucal’s lab. 

However, this is all that the brand itself claims. The Food Development Authority hasn’t confirmed any of this.

There are many good things about this brand and not recommend it because the FDA hasn’t evaluated them. It is what you might be thinking, right?

But don’t worry, we are not shooting in the dark instead, we have selected this brand based on the reviews. 

A consumer has said that they felt pain in their legs after taking the supplements. Many people complained about stomach aches and severe migraines.

It might be a coincidence if only one person was facing such problems. But with so many people, it doesn’t look like a coincidence anymore. 

So, this was all about the red yeast rice brands to avoid. If you don’t want your cholesterol to go higher than before, you should stay away from these. 

Watch this video to learn what Dietitian Nutritionist Mary Donkersloot has to about Red Yeast Rice.

However, just as we promised at the beginning of this article, we will tell you about a few of the best red yeast rice brands that you can take to control your cholesterol level. 

3 Recommended Red Yeast Rice Brands

Here are three red yeast rice brands that can help you lower your cholesterol level without affecting your health.

1. Arazo Nutrition

Check out the Arazo Nutrition Review and find out what users have to say about the brand.

Are you looking for a high-quality, non-irradiated, pure source of red yeast rice? It is what you need.

Arzo Nutrition’s red yeast rice capsules are tested and verified for impurities and contaminants.

Moreover, these supplements are also free of Citrinin, which can lead to kidney failure if present. 

There are 120 capsules in a pack, each with 1200 gm of red yeast rice. You don’t have any prescription for these, so you can buy them over the counter.

Arzo Nutrition’s red yeast rice supplements have all-natural ingredients and help you lower your cholesterol levels.

2. Thorne Research Choleast

Check out the Thorne Research Choleast Review and find out what users have to say about the brand.

Thorne Research Choleast is a well-known and trusted red rice brand. It has been tested by 100+ professional teams, including 11 US Olympics.

Also, these capsules support cardiovascular health, guarantee healthy lipid levels, and control cholesterol levels.

In addition, Thorne Research Choleast supplements include Monacolin K, Coenzyme Q 10, and red yeast rice.

Overall, this helps keep your cholesterol levels under control and lower them, thus giving you good health without any side effects.

If this seems what you are looking for, this is the right choice for you.

3. Puritan’s Pride 

The last red yeast rice brand that we recommend is Puritan’s Pride. No, not that Puritan from literature but a red yeast rice brand.

If you are tired of those low-quality red yeast rice brands that don’t help you even a single bit despite claiming big, then here is the best alternative you can get. 

These capsules are formulated with red rice powder, which is already rich in Monacolin K.

Moreover, Puritan’s Pride red yeast rice supplements have been tested for potency, purity, and consistency.

They also contain Coenzyme Q 10, which provides antioxidant support.    

So these were 3 red yeast rice brands that we would recommend if you want to control your overall blood cholesterol level.

However, there are certain things to remember before taking these supplements. 

Never take red yeast rice capsules with;

  • Alcohol
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Other statins
  • Niacin
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Hepatotoxic drugs and supplements

Is Red Yeast Rice Safe

Yes, as per the research of NCCIH, Red Yeast Rice is safe and it helps lower cholesterol levels in the blood.

What To Check Before Buying Red Yeast Rice Brands?

Before using any of the brands, make sure you get a suggestion from a specialist.

There are different brands in the market, so before purchasing from anyone, you should know what to check in order to find out which brand is right for you.

  • You should see if it contains an ingredient called lovastatin or monacolin K because these are the active ingredients that lower cholesterol levels. If the brand does not have these ingredients then it will not be effective at treating high cholesterol levels and weight loss.
  • Check the percentage of lovastatin or monacolin K in each capsule or pill. Usually the lower the number the better the result and the more effective the supplement.
  • Make sure it has a high potency or it will not be very effective at lowering cholesterol levels and losing weight. If the label says “high potency” this means the product is very effective at lowering cholesterol levels and losing weight.
  • Also, it should have the least number of ingredients as possible. This helps to reduce your chances of getting any side effects. – The active ingredients of the brand should be natural or they will be more effective than products that have been synthetically made.
  • You should also check if the manufacturer of the Red Yeast Rice brand has a good reputation. You can find this by visiting customer reviews online or calling the manufacturer’s customer service to check if they have any complaints.
  • Make sure that the product does not have any artificial additives, preservatives, flavorings, or colorings.

Final Thoughts

In Summary, people have been using red yeast rice to control their blood cholesterol levels for a long time. However, this is not a medication on your own.

Although there are a few supplements that you can buy easily, you should always consult your doctor first.

There might be a few ingredients or chemicals that can cause allergies and even some severe health problems like kidney failure.

While buying red yeast rice supplements, you can never trust every Tom, Dick, and Harry. It is essential to be aware of the bad ones.

That is precisely what we are helping you with. From Swanson to Spring Valley, we have mentioned 7 red yeast rice brands to avoid someone seeking a way to lower their cholesterol.

The list has been organized mainly based on consumer reviews, so forget about any favoritism here.

We hope you found this article helpful. On a side note, which supplements do you take to lower your cholesterol levels, and have they ever caused any problems?

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is a professional content writer with over 7 years of experience in writing for different niches, including brand reviews, technology, fitness, and more.

Currently, he is working as a content writer for WorstBrands, where he provides insightful reviews of different products, including home appliances, outdoor gear, fashion, and kitchen products. In his free time, Steven enjoys traveling and exploring new places.

7 thoughts on “7 Red Yeast Rice Brands to Avoid + Alternatives in 2023”

  1. Really don’t know what to use for cholesterol I was on the natures aid brand of red yeast rice only for my joints to start aching with my shin experiencing aching vibrations. I have had to stop using with the numerous warnings linked to liver damage. Similar experience with using statins, resulted to plant sterols hoping for the best.

  2. What about the Weider brand? My cholesterol was 300 started weider only took two a day instead of the four recommended next check up Cholesterol was down to 208, started taking four per day as recommended My next check up cholesterol was down to 181 no issues no side effects

  3. Hello, What can you say about the Weider Red Yeast Rice Plus from COSTCO?
    I don’t see there any Lovastatin or Minacolin K”. It said just 1200mg of Monascus Purpureus.

  4. I think there is an error in the section “check the percentage of Lovastatin or Minacolin K”. It says “the lower” the better and it should be “the higher” the better.


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